+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 14
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Orlando, Florida
    Posts
    3

    Question Breakers, Outlets, Switches

    I live in Florida and took on my dads 50yr old house. The breaker panel has been upgraded to a 200 amp box. All the single pole breakers are 20 amp but all my switches & outlets are 15 amp. Do I need to replace all my outlets & switches to 20 Amp? Like I said the house is 50yrs old & the wiring as far as I can tell is all 14 w/the exception of the Stove dryer a/c & hot water tank.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Shamokin, Pa.
    Posts
    645

    Default Re: Breakers, Outlets, Switches

    Quote Originally Posted by motrmax View Post
    I live in Florida and took on my dads 50yr old house. The breaker panel has been upgraded to a 200 amp box. All the single pole breakers are 20 amp but all my switches & outlets are 15 amp. Do I need to replace all my outlets & switches to 20 Amp? Like I said the house is 50yrs old & the wiring as far as I can tell is all 14 w/the exception of the Stove dryer a/c & hot water tank.
    No your house MIGHT be fine. Please check the markings on the Romex again.
    As we all know, 14/2 Romex equates to using a 15 amp breaker, 12/2 Romex equates to a 20 amp breaker.
    If indeed the Romex is 14/2 then the breakers will have to be downsized from 20 amp to 15 amp. And certain circuits are required to be 20 amp in size, but we we go into that later, if need be.
    But then all the circuits not GFCI protected will have to be replaced with AFCI breakers. But I am putting the cart before the horse here.
    Check out the Romex then report back.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,827

    Default Re: Breakers, Outlets, Switches

    Quote Originally Posted by deadshort View Post
    I would really disagree that the breakers need to be replaced.

    I do agree that all #14 CU wired circuits need to be protected with a 15Amp breaker.

    15Amp devices are allowed on 20Amp circuits.
    Kind of a strange post, you don't think the 20 amp breakers need to be replaced but you do agree they need to be 15 amp?

    As Ernie says the 20 amp breakers would need to be replace with 15 amp breakers if the wiring is indeed 14 ga. The outlets and switches are OK either way they can be used on 15 or 20 amp circuits.

    I believe the house would be grandfathered in and upgrading to current code may not be required.
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Coventry, RI
    Posts
    340

    Default Re: Breakers, Outlets, Switches

    When was the service upgrade and was it done by a licenced electrician or was it a friend or family member? If it was a licenced electrician you should be all set as they would know what is needed. Not sure if it is universal but all the 14-2 and 14-3 romex I've seen has white sheathing while 12-2 and 12-3 are yellow so that is one thing to check.
    I agree with Jack you probably should be alright just replacing the 20 Amp breakers with 15 Amp breakers if you had to. If the service was installed more than a few years ago you will not need to put in the Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter type breakers (AFCI). I took out the permits for my remodel in 2005 and at that time they were only required for bedrooms. If you do have to change the breakers I would put in the AFCI's for the bedroom circuits at least. Hope this helps you out.

    Mike

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,827

    Default Re: Breakers, Outlets, Switches

    Quote Originally Posted by deadshort View Post
    You missed the quote there Jack but you are really old so will add that that I do not believe the breakers need to be replaced with AFCI breakers.

    Does that make sense to you?
    Dang, and here I thought I got you on one.
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Shamokin, Pa.
    Posts
    645

    Default Re: Breakers, Outlets, Switches

    Quote Originally Posted by deadshort View Post
    Is your walker fold-able?
    Mine is and it is a bear getting around in the snow.
    Nice catch about the AFCI requirement, as I did miss the part about bedroom & bedroom closet outlets only. My fault. I hope it adds no confusion to the OP.
    Though I do see that coming down the pipe, in my world anyway. That would tie into the tamper resistant outlet requirement. But worry about that another day.
    Some inspectors here will require AFCIs, where required, when doing load center work, other will let it slide till work would be performed on said bedroom. The latter I tend to agree with more, all things considered.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Alpharetta, Ga
    Posts
    55

    Default Re: Breakers, Outlets, Switches

    In residential dwellings its permissible to install 15A devices on 20A branch circuits. Many devices in the home will still need to be 20A rate (think microwave, washer machine, etc.)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    The Great White North
    Posts
    4,045

    Default Re: Breakers, Outlets, Switches

    Quote Originally Posted by Ernie_Fergler View Post
    Please check the markings on the Romex again.
    As we all know, 14/2 Romex equates to using a 15 amp breaker, 12/2 Romex equates to a 20 amp breaker.
    If indeed the Romex is 14/2 then the breakers will have to be downsized from 20 amp to 15 amp. And certain circuits are required to be 20 amp in size, but we we go into that later, if need be.
    But then all the circuits not GFCI protected will have to be replaced with AFCI breakers. But I am putting the cart before the horse here.
    Check out the Romex then report back.
    Yep --- agreed.
    Strange though --- if the service was upgraded to 200 amps and if done by an electrician why would 20 amp breakers have been installed on #14 ga wired circuits to begin with and pass inspection?

    I too agree if the upgrade was done pre current code requiring GFCI and AFCI then it may be considered a repair and grandfathered ( hard to say ) ---- though it would make sense to install the AFCI for bedrooms and at least GFCI receptacles in the kitchen and bathroom(s).
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Shamokin, Pa.
    Posts
    645

    Default Re: Breakers, Outlets, Switches

    I was wondering aloud myself about the 20 A breaker_14 AWG Romex passing an inspection. Seems to be a rather easy catch for an inspector. Plus a huge mistake by any Sparky worth his salt. But that is why they put erasers on pencils, I suppose.
    Somewhere, somehow a bean counter did the math on house fires started by arcing, which lead to AFCIs. I do believe they were used in the airline industry for some time. Not saying AFCIs are a bad thing, just the opposite, but try itemizing them on a parts list for a job spec. Sit back and wait for the questions to fly from the homeowner.
    Last edited by Ernie_Fergler; 02-15-2010 at 03:19 PM. Reason: spellen, of course.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Orlando, Florida
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Breakers, Outlets, Switches

    Thanks for the great feedback guys.
    I looked closer at the romax like you asked & found Narax 12-2 with ground on it. This is good right? This means I won't have to change my recepticles or swtches w/the exception of the GFCI's right? This house has 4 wires that power A 3 bedroom 1 bath house w/the exception of the 220. For example: 1 Breaker - Kitchen light, 1 recepticle, & exhaust fan, all of bedroom 1&2, &ceiling fan in bedroom 3.
    I did dig a little deeper into the box & breaker upgrade & who did it. Aparently my cousin (a licensed electrician)did the upgrade & was suposed to come back to rewire the house & finish the job, but never made it back. This should clear up any service upgrade confusion. (no inspection/no permit)
    I know I'm going to have to rewire to finish the upgrade & branch out the circuits & I will get to that soon & I will not forget about what you have said about the AFCI's for each of the bedrooms. I'll bet you didn't think I was listening did you? LOL.

    Rick
    Last edited by motrmax; 02-16-2010 at 05:44 PM.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •